Maryland basketball followed up its one-point loss to No. 16 Purdue with a 70-64 loss to Penn State Tuesday night, a surprising result against a team that had lost five of its previous six games.
A 14-point deficit turned into four as the minutes ticked off the clock, but the Terps ultimately couldn’t get consistent offense, and Penn State got just enough.
The Terps’ first road loss drops them to 20-4 on the season, and makes their journey to a top-four seed in the Big Ten tournament a little harder.
Melo Trimble had eight of Maryland’s first 10 points, but the Terps’ offense got off to a slow start. Justin Jackson and Anthony Cowan were a combined 0-for-7 from the field in the first half, while Kevin Huerter had five points. Penn State extended its lead to as many as eight points before halftime. Trimble only scored three more points the rest of the way, and Penn State’s Lamar Stevens drove his team’s offense all game.
Stevens scored 24 points on 13 shots, and was one of three Nittany Lions to grab at least eight rebounds.
Tony Carr had eight points and five rebounds in the first half, and the Nittany Lions went into halftime with a 35-29 lead.
The Terps’ second-half start wasn’t any better, as L.G. Gill’s baseline jumper with 13:22 left was their first field goal of the half. Penn State pumped its lead up to 14 points with 10 minutes left, and just when it seemed Maryland wouldn’t be able to get any closer than eight points away, Jackson and Jaylen Brantley hit back-to-back threes to make it 62-58. Jackson scored 14 second-half points and ended up leading Maryland in scoring, while Huerter was second with 12.
But that was as close as the Terps would get. Penn State outscored them 8-4 the rest of the way to grab the upset win.
Three things to know
- Most people expected this game to go differently. Penn State is closer to the bottom of the Big Ten than the top, and Maryland was favored by two points after entering a slew of games as underdogs. The Terps couldn’t get much offense going all game, and even though Penn State has a solid defense, this was unexpected.
- Maryland’s offensive output was noticeably poor. The Nittany Lions were able to silence Melo Trimble for most of the second half, and swallowed Anthony Cowan for the entire game. Consistent production was hard to find, as even Trimble couldn’t get buckets to go down the stretch.
- Maryland crept back. This game looked out of reach for a while in the second half, but the Terps didn’t go quietly. This wasn’t quite the dramatic comeback Diamond Stone drove against the Nittany Lions last year, but it provided some excitement down the stretch.